Hitting the road is awesome. A chain of events led to the discovery of this show, the cosmos aligned, and before I knew it, I was heading to The Tiger Room in Louisville with my handy dandy copy of Judas Priest’s Metalworks ’73-’93. Little did I know that I was about to get my face melted off in ways thought unimaginable.
Into the Grave
Promptly kicking things off, this Lexington death metal crew wasted no time getting the gears turning. Into the Grave’s overall presentation felt more like a Draconian war march as opposed to the usual gore-drenched violence fest. For me, the most attention-grabbing songs of their set would be “Despots & Madmen” and “Empty the Coffers.” Firmly a death metal band, Into the Grave still had some riffs that would tickle a thrasher’s ear and the drummer’s monkey-like approach to his kit was fun to watch. Into the Grave’s vocalist, Derrick Sexton’s range stood out as it was more of a bark, almost verging toward hardcore. I would like to hear more of that bark in death metal.
Photo credit: Alondra Falcon
I’m not going to lie, I slacked off a bit with these guys. This show was running on a very tight schedule, and I wanted to mingle with the locals. That’s not to say that I didn’t like Chigger’s performance because they certainly brought the sludge. The vocalist’s sleazy but affable banter with the crowd reminded me of an alternate reality where Kevin Nash is the frontman for Eyehategod. In conclusion, while I wasn’t necessarily paying attention to them, they still kept my attention.
What more can I say about Savage Master that I haven’t already said? Well, there are a few things. First off, this was a rather brisk set, and they blazed through “Ready to Sin,” “Looking for a Sacrifice,” and “The Ripper In Black” (along with new tracks “Myth, Magic and Steel” and “The Devil’s Ecstasy”) like they were on the warpath. Having a bit more room to breath on The Tiger Room’s stage, Savage Master weren’t as in your face as they are on a smaller stage, but they more than made up for it with an extremely aggressive performance. Finally, while it was cool to see with my own eyes the following they have on their home turf, it’s also cool to see that Savage Master can leave new listeners wanting more.
Photo credit: Jeff Walker
Sacred Reich opened their set with “Manifest Reality” from their new album Awakening, and it was a straight up front line salvo. Regardless of whether or not you were a rookie or a veteran with Sacred Reich, the veteran quartet leveled Louisville with additional new cuts like “Divide & Conquer,” “Killing Machine” and “Salvation.” They also didn’t skimp on classic ragers “The American Way,” “Who’s To Blame” and ”Independent.”
Vocalist/bassist Phil Rind’s interactions with the crowd between songs provided plenty of information for Sacred Reich fans of all experience levels, and the sheer onslaught of the songs themselves kept the venue on fire throughout their set. To close things off I will say I may be getting a bit caught up in my feelings, but the look of consensus on the faces of the true thrashers when Phil announced “Surf Nicaragua” as their final song was one of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever seen. There’s nothing more I can say other than if you get a chance to catch Sacred Reich live it’s worth it.
Photo credit: Derrick Sexton